I’ve felt very fragile since we dropped our son off at college. I’ve had trouble sleeping, and I feel jittery and strung out. Work has been hectic, which has been hard. My team lead encouraged me to be gentle with myself in the coming weeks because she knew this would be an emotional time for our family, but sometimes work and the world don’t really allow for going easy. There’s too much to do. I’m too far behind. I got Covid two weeks before our son left, and I could not afford to lose that time at work, and I’m still trying to catch up.
I did finish something at work on Friday that had been weighing on me for weeks, and that kept getting shoved to the bottom of my ever-growing list, so I was at least able to sleep this weekend having finally gotten a draft out for review. I feel better after sleeping past 4am on Saturday and then again on Sunday.
My chest still feels thick sometimes despite feeling otherwise recovered from Covid. I mowed the lawn on Friday and it wore me out. Sunday I wanted to get out of the house and out of my head, and I wanted to do that in the woods, on a hike, with my camera. I didn’t feel up for anything strenuous, and it was hot out, so my husband picked a short, flattish hike a little higher up in the mountains where it would be cooler: the War Spur trail near Mountain Lake Lodge, where Dirty Dancing was filmed.
The trail was shaded and green, and the air smelled fresh, especially when we dipped down into a stream-bed where clear water trickled over mossy stones. The hike is known for having lots of mushrooms, and we probably saw two dozen different kinds. They’re delicate little things, fragile but grounded. Those earthy mushrooms, the fat acorns, and a smattering of red leaves in green ferns were what I needed to feel some peace.